A government watchdog group has filed an ethics complaint against Brookhaven mayoral candidate Jen Heath, alleging she failed to disclose required information in a campaign finance report.
Heath is challenging incumbent John Ernst in the Nov. 5 election. She said the lack of certain information on her report was an “oversight” and that an updated report would be given to the City Clerk’s office on the morning of Oct. 29.
William Perry, founder of Georgia Ethics Watchdogs, filed the complaint Oct. 28 with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. Perry and Georgia Ethics Watchdogs regularly raise ethics concerns. He filed ethics complaints against candidates Stacey Abrams and Casey Cagle in last year’s gubernatorial elections.
Perry alleges in his complaint that Heath violated the state’s Ethics in Government Act when she failed to disclose any expenses in her Sept. 30 campaign disclosure report despite having a campaign truck, yard signs and a brochure.
He also said Heath violated the state ethics act by not itemizing $8,725.66 in deferred payments in the disclosure report.
Heath previously said the deferred payments were for expenses that she had not yet received invoices for.
Perry included a picture of Heath’s campaign truck with a large “Jen Heath for mayor” sign attached to its side with the ethics complaint. He also included a picture of her campaign brochure.
He included a link to a recent Brookhaven Reporter article about the mayoral campaign disclosure reports.
In a written statement, Heath said she and her sister, who has accounting experience, “inadvertently … missed the small checkbox on an expense detail form that said deferred expenses.”
The missing paperwork was filed Oct. 29 at City Hall.
The report shows Heath has deferred expenses of more than $7,000 to Landmark Communications for a consulting fee, yard signs and door hangers; and approximately $1,200 to herself for photography, lanyards and website hosting.
Update: This story has been updated with comment from Jen Heath and with details about her deferred expenses.